James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Questions for McCain and His Supporters

People like John McCain should read Steve Coll's article on Gen. Patreaus and the Surge in the New Yorker and ask themselves a few questions:

1. The Surge was a strategic risk, and even many in the Pentagon disagreed with it. Moreover, critics of the war never doubted that Iraq could be pacified sooner if there were a lot more troops, but adding 20,000-30,000 looked like too little, too late. Question: Of the two, whose judgment should we trust more,
a) One who supported the war in the first place, which remains a strategic blunder for the ages that has weakened America militarily and financially, or
b) One who opposed the war from the beginning and disagreed with the Surge mainly because he thought ending the war sooner would be better than perpetuating the mistake?

2. Part of the Surge's tentative success came from buying off some Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents, and because the insurgents turned against the the extremist ("Al Qaeda") terrorists.
Question: do you know the difference between an insurgent defending home and clan from invaders by targeting the invading troops, and terrorists who blow up marketplaces and kill women and children?

3. Of the two, which posed a greater threat to American lives (military or civilian) before the invasion, the (then-non-existent) insurgents and militias, or Al Qaeda?

4. Was Al Qaeda even in Iraq before the invasion?

5. How big is the terrorist threat anyway? For seven years 1,000 terrorists could have sneaked across the U.S. border and could have set off countless car bombs or much worse. They have not. Why not?

6. Could it be for the same reason that advocates of violence are often laughed off or kicked out of radical groups? After all, in the post-9/11 world, the crimes of the government against the people have been so vast that one would think more anti-government militia-type groups would have formed, but since the Oklahoma City bombing no one wants to be associated with them. Could it be that the number of people willing to commit mass murder, or even be associated with groups that might consider it, are so few that it is almost impossible to find and organize them?

7. But for those who do lump Al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias, and the Iranian government together as terrorists who "hate us" and "mean to do us harm," does it sit well with you that we have negotiated with and even paid the Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias not to fight? After all, you think they're all terrorists. If it's okay to negotiate with these "terrorists," then why is it then impermissible for Obama to seek negotiations with Iran?

1 comment:

  1. Good post. People often forget that the surge is just a distraction from the question of whether we should have invaded Iraq in the first place.